Hello everyone I am a grateful recovering alcoholic. I was born in a small town to loving parents who took great care of me. I had a wonderful childhood and everything a kid would want growing up. Drinking and drugging began at a very young age, around twelve going on thirteen years old. I smoked pot for the first time with my best friend and it was instant gratification. My first drink was Kentucky Bourbon whiskey; I took five shots in five minutes and chased it with Gatorade. Needless to say, I threw up. I started living the fast life stricken with guilt, shame, remorse and fear. Little did I know, this lifestyle would be my highway to hell.
Shame has been with me all my life. I was sexually abused at the age of six in the trailer park where I grew up. This happening to me always made me feel like I was a piece of shit. It really messed me up mentally and sexually. I was so young I didn’t know if this was what was normal or not. Like I said, it really disturbed me at a very young age. School was nothing more than a meeting place with my drug dealers and I always left early to use. The relationship with my parents began to deteriorate; the conversations with my father became harsh words and fist fighting. There was one instance where I walked in on him with a loaded shotgun, about to pull the trigger, and he turned the gun on me. I won’t ever forget the screaming, the vulgarity and struggling to get the gun out of his hands. After a power struggle over the shotgun, I gained control and kicked the shells out. I grabbed them and ran outside in nothing but my shorts and bare feet. It was in the middle of winter; I will never forget the heightened sense of the snow on my feet, freezing, thinking this can’t be a normal life. This lifestyle continued well into my twenties.
At the age of seventeen I started using all sorts of pills: uppers, downers and all-arounders. I also took my first trip on LSD at this age. I was scared to take the first hit and held it in my hand for about a half-hour. Finally, I threw it on my tongue and then, a half hour later the intense laughter began. I fell in love with LSD. That same night I ended up eating around fifteen hits all together, I never wanted the trip to end. LSD took me completely out of this world, which was exactly what I wanted. I started dating a girl I went to high school with at this time; we stayed together for four years.
Around the age of twenty-one, my high school romance told me she wanted some time apart. This was a crushing blow. After about two weeks of this a few of my buddies told me how they had seen my girlfriend and my best friend hanging out. That was instant hatred. I wanted revenge right then. I drove to the diner where she was working at the time and asked for her at the drive-thru window. She had no clue that I knew. She walked up, opened the sliding window and I spat in her face and drove off. And from there on out, my alcoholISM controlled my life.
At this time, I was currently working in a mental institution for my mother. Drinking became my life. Alcohol was my master. My goal was to black out every time I drank; I did not want to live in this world anymore. My next discovery was Xanax. I very quickly found out with a few of these I could drink less and be in a blackout quicker than with alcohol alone. Little did I know, these would become my drugs of choice. I was never without these two and pot was as common as smoking cigarettes. I was soon fired from working at that facility for constantly missing work.
I started working odd jobs here and there. The next eight years of my life was a complete blackout. I once stayed with a woman for over three months and had no recollection of it. I dated another woman who was from Illinois; at that time I completed a semester in college that I do not remember. Soon, that relationship became dull and I needed excitement/drama in my life. I landed a job working in a meat locker and moved back home with my mother and father. It was an alcoholic’s dream job: no drug tests, everyone there had the same lifestyle and we could drink and use almost anytime we wanted. An alcoholic will change their goals to accommodate their lifestyle, whereas a “normal person” will change their life to accommodate their goals. Somewhere in this blackout I had bought an engagement ring for a woman I had only known for three months. That relationship lasted until she found out I ate Xanax like it was pez. A few months later, I dated another woman for about two months, went and got the ring back from the other woman and asked the new one to marry me! I tried many times to make a better life for myself by relying on a human power. I thought that if I just married the “right woman” that I would settle down, have kids and all would be well! A soul sickness or “void” cannot be filled with material possessions, people, drugs, alcohol, money, sex, gambling, eating, etc etc…happiness is an inside job.
I quickly climbed the ladder and became the supervisor. I showed up 2 hours early for work and left an hour later than everyone else. I made very good money. I started spending lots of money to make me feel good and to impress others who never even liked me in the first place. I ended up harboring a resentment against the owner of the place. One day, I hacked up about six hundred dollars worth of meat because he pissed me off. I was immediately fired. One month later I walked back in the door and threw six hundred dollars on the table and made amends with the owner. I had never been in recovery at that point, I only thought it was the right thing to do. As I started walking out the door, he asked if I wanted my old job back. I turned, look at him and smiled and accepted it. I was back working my dream job a week later.
After working at this job for over seven years now, I had really done some damage to myself mentally, physically and spiritually. The last year or so I started really acting out on my hatred towards others. The owner told me to take a week off and he sent me to a mental institution for some rest and help. I only received as much help as my honesty allowed, which was none. So, throughout the last year and a half I bounced in and out of these institutions. My boss sent me three more times and my mother sent me a couple also. In 2010 I ended up getting fired for good from that job and began trying to make my living off of sellin g drugs only. Needless to say, that did not work.
I was in and out of mental institutions and jails. During the last six months of my active alcoholism I only existed. I spent several evenings staring down the barrel of a loaded shotgun, jobless, in a rocking chair drinking a fifth of brown whiskey. I woke up one morning feeling hopeless and sentenced to another day of life for the last time. I said an alcoholic’s prayer that morning, “Please, God, help me.” Less than a minute later, my mother walked in the room and asked, do you want me to call a treatment center for you?” Then, weighing in at one hundred and thirty pounds, I crawled into the treatment center begging for help. I admitted to eating thirty Lortabs on the thirty minute drive over. They had me rushed to the hospital where I died of an overdose, and God’s grace brought me back to life.
I returned to that treatment center two weeks later. The counselors helped me realize things about myself that I had never noticed. They introduced me to Alcoholics Anonymous and encouraged me to obtain a sponsor. After completing treatment, I followed all suggestions of my sponsor and returned seven months later to volunteer at this facility. Within the first year, I worked the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous twice. My sponsor always says, “We have to work The Steps, to learn how to work The Steps, to learn how to live The Steps”. I feel I should also state that I have had only ONE white chip since I have entered the program of Alcoholic’s Anonymous. Relapse is NOT a part of recovery. Anyone that tells you relapse is a part of recovery is justifying why they can’t stay sober themselves.
By the time I was eighteen months sober, I was working at the same treatment center and sponsoring six other men. After two years of sobriety, I have begun helping teach classes at the Substance Abuse Program in the jails. I also teach criminal thinking for another treatment center and have spoken on a recovery talk show on the radio in Florida. I am now currently working at a long term treatment facility and get regular job offers in recovery. I am currently praying and meditating on taking a job offer in Texas with some good friends who I have met in recovery. None of these things are to my credit; I give all the credit to God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Rock bottom is the solid foundation on which I rebuilt this wonderful new life of helping others. Today I do not feel like I have to go to work because I enjoy doing this type of work. I think that there are two miracles in life; One was the day I was born, and the other was the day I found out what my purpose in life is. I can certainly say that life is good today!
BY THE GRACE OF GOD.